Mexican 8 reales coin to make $30,500 in Spanish colonial auction?

The Huntington Collection of Spanish Colonial Coins will sell at auction on March 6 in London, with a Mexican 8 reales coin expected to lead bids.

Mexico 8 reales coin
An example of the 8 reales coin from 1732 sold for $40,000 in May 2008

The coin, which is dated 1729, holds the highest estimate of the sale at £15,000-20,000 ($22,960-30,613). It leads a stunning array of almost 1,500 coins from across the Spanish colonies.

The auction follows on from the highly successful sale of important Portuguese and Portuguese colonial coins from the same collection in November 2012. The Huntington Collection, which contained around 37,895 coins, was originally sold through Sotheby's in March 2012 by the Hispanic Society of America (HSA).

In selling the collection, the HSA ended a 50-year loan to the American Numismatic Society (ANS), though many of the coins in the auction were reportedly acquired on ANS' behalf.

The royal 8 reales coin at auction was produced just a few years before the introduction of milled coinage in Spain's "new world" mints in 1732. An ancestor of the familiar "pillar" coins of Spain, it followed on from the hastily struck Spanish colonial cobs, which were produced after the discovery of large silver deposits.

Following the 8 reales coin is a royal 4 reales, dated 1639, which is expected to sell for £10,000-12,000 ($15,312-18,374).

Mexican coins dominate the top sales, with a crude 8 reales coin from 1811 featuring blank centres also estimated at £8,000-12,000. More of the strongest lots originate from Bolivia, under the rule of Charles II.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a shining collection of coins for sale, including a line-up of rare Italian pieces which is led by an Alfonso I D'este (1505-1534) gold double ducat that is one of only five known to exist.

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